NEW INFO: Poor Economy Stalls Prichard Rail Intermodal Project

By: Randy Yohe Email
By: Randy Yohe Email

UPDATE 6/11/10 @ 7:15 p.m.
PRICHARD, W.Va. (WSAZ) -- Even though potential private partners are scarce, West Virginia state developers say plans for the Prichard Intermodal Terminal are still on a fast track.

The transportation hub is expected to bring hundreds of jobs to the region.

Sen. Bob Plymale, D-Wayne, says this is a long range plan. He said the delay may be up to a year, but it will still happen. Plymale says he has no worries about the state putting private investor proposal intake on hold.

Plymale says plans to turn 78 now open Wayne County acres into a terminal to transfer goods from trucks and rail cars is still a site preparation go.

The Prichard Intermodel Site will sit along the developing heartland corridor, a railway and trucking project to improve delivery of goods from the Virginia coast to Chicago.

The state says it can cut the ballooning (as much as $35 million) Prichard site prep cost in half. That would be by getting the fill dirt for those 78 acres from the highway project.

Mark Sprouse, the new Huntington Area Development Council (HADCO) president, is among many who know these big projects will lead to a large influx of industry and jobs.

Sprouse says that with the transportation we already have in place, the intermodal will just enhance the delivery system.

Bob Ply male says at a minimum, there should be nearly 1,000 new jobs this project will create.

The state says all the rail tunnels for the new double stacked rail cars are finished, and the new train loads will roll through West Virginia this fall.

Ply male expects road construction on the Richard site to also begin in September.



ORIGINAL STORY
CHARLESTON, W.Va. (AP) -- A lousy economy and lack of interest have forced the West Virginia Public Port Authority to postpone plans for the Prichard Intermodal Terminal.

Norfolk Southern donated 78 acres for an $18 million terminal the state hoped to develop. In April, the authority issued a request for proposals.

But on Thursday, the authority said only one proposal came in last week.

The terminal was to provide westward rail service between Prichard and Chicago via Columbus, Ohio.

o the east, it would provide double-stacked rail service to the Virginia Port Authority.

Transportation Secretary Paul Mattox says he believes the concept is good, but private investment companies aren't willing to take risks right now.

He says the project will be re-advertised later.


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